Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Mikael Granlund recalled; Dany Heatley sidelined for the Wild

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild player moves, Wild pregame skate Updated: April 4, 2013 - 12:49 PM


The Wild has recalled forward Mikael Granlund from AHL Houston with right wing Dany Heatley sidelined with what's believed to be a wrist injury. GM Chuck Fletcher said Heatley is "out," saying there is no timeframe as to when he will return at the moment.

Coach Mike Yeo indicated last night it would be awhile. Heatley was injured during a post-buzzer altercation with San Jose defenseman and former teammate Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Vlasic cross-checked Heatley to the ice, then slashed him over the back. When Heatley got up, he swung his stick and missed. Vlasic proceeded to two-hand Heatley over the arm and basically jump him, finally lifted him from his knees and driving him hard back to the ice.

That's where I think Heatley was injured -- not on the slash, which resulted in a five-minute major and game misconduct.

Heatley was in a lot of pain and skated fast to the exit as tempers flared and linesmen had to get in between the two teams. Vlasic said he was just defending himself, and the two were battling all period.

Vlasic has a hearing today at 2 p.m. ET. My guess is he gets at most a fine. Heatley, my guess, may get a call with a warning from the league for his swing and miss. 

As for Granlund, with Matt Cullen hurt and Johan Larsson traded, my guess is the organization is looking for Granlund to center the second line so Coyle can essentially stay at wing and essentially replace Heatley's spot. I only say that because if Coyle was going to play center, I'd assume the natural callup would have been winger Jason Zucker.

Jason Pominville is scheduled to land in Los Angeles within the hour. Since the Wild didn't call up another forward with Granlund, I'd assume Pominville will make his Wild debut tonight. Otherwise, why make the guy fly to L.A. when he could have simply met the club in Columbus tomorrow?

The plan was for Pominville to slide into the right wing spot on the Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu line tonight against the Kings.

If it were me, I'd go with

Setoguchi-Granlund-Coyle (Granlund and Coyle were productive linemates together in Houston)



Also, and I'm not confident it'll happen, but time to sit Clayton Stoner. You just can't have this many bad games in a row and not finally sit. It's costing them points, and I think anybody that reads me knows I like Stoner as a player and person.

Last night, the entire blue line was bad. But Stoner really stood out in a nightmarish game.

No morning skate today because of the second of back-to-back. So I may not know the lineup until a couple hours before game time when I meet with Yeo.

From the release:

Granlund, 21 (2/26/92), collected six points (1-5=6) in 19 games with Minnesota this season and registered a goal in his NHL debut vs. Colorado on Jan. 19. The 5-foot-10, 186-pound native of Oulu, Finland has recorded 28 points (10-18=28) in 29 games with the Aeros this season. Granlund tallied seven points (2-5=7) in nine games with Houston after being reassigned from Minnesota on March 12. He was named the AHL Rookie of the Month for October scoring 10 points (3-7=10) and a +5 rating in seven games.


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